Former CIA Director John Brennan Joins UT Austin as a Distinguished Scholar

News | September 19, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas – John O. Brennan, a leading national security expert who served most recently as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), has been appointed as a Distinguished Non-Resident Scholar at The University of Texas at Austin. He will advance the scholarly study of national security and intelligence.

“I’m honored to welcome alumnus John Brennan back to the Forty Acres. As CIA Director, he served the nation with distinction at the very highest level,” said UT President Gregory L. Fenves. “He will add unique knowledge and experience to a faculty of renowned national security scholars.”

Brennan will make regular visits to campus beginning in November to deliver public remarks, lecture in ongoing courses, contribute to research projects, and mentor students, faculty, and staff interested in public service and national security.

In addition to serving as a scholar, Brennan will be a Senior Advisor to the university’s Intelligence Studies Project (ISP) – a novel partnership between UT’s Clements Center for National Security and Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law created to bolster the study and teaching of intelligence as a distinct academic field.

“I am delighted to renew my affiliation with the University of Texas at Austin and contribute to the university’s outstanding efforts to prepare the next generation of American leaders” Brennan said. “I greatly benefited from my time at UT Austin, and I look forward to sharing my experience with members of the University community.”

Before heading the CIA, Brennan served as the chief counterterrorism advisor to President Barack Obama in his role as Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Assistant to the President. Brennan’s public service career began in 1980 when he joined CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence after earning a Master’s Degree in Government with a concentration in Middle Eastern Studies from UT Austin.

“John Brennan’s career as an effective intelligence practitioner and principled leader serves as an example for his successors,” said ISP director Stephen Slick. “The ISP’s efforts to focus rigorous academic attention on the intelligence discipline will benefit immediately from John’s encouragement and counsel.”

As key events of the 21st century have made the intelligence and national security community a cornerstone of policymaking and government, the need for understanding of the discipline is increasingly important. Serving as CIA director as recently as January 2017, Brennan will bring invaluable direct experience with the latest issues in national security that will help position the university to be a leading academic center on national security.